Serve Nutritious Meals
The eating habits children learn when they are young have a huge impact on what foods they prefer as they grow. Child care providers can play a big part in making sure children learn to enjoy nutritionally balanced meals.
We know it can be expensive to serve fresh, healthy food, which is why BizNest at Children’s Council offers a special Food Program for child care providers. The program provides monthly financial support to family child care providers for serving nutritious meals through the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program.
The average annual amount of reimbursement for providers in the Food Program is roughly $4,500-$6,700 (depending on various factors).
Providers in the food program receive:
- Direct deposit payment for nutritious meals served in family child care homes
- Guidance on food service, meal planning, nutrition, budgeting, program management and record keeping
- Access to workshops featuring nutrition information, recipes and a review of program requirements
- Free online claiming with KidKare
Joining the Food Program
Providers interested in participating in the program must:
- Be a licensed family child care provider in San Francisco County
- Currently have children enrolled in their care
- Not currently be sponsored by another agency on the Food Program (e.g. Wu Yee, 4C’s Santa Clara)
- Attend a Children’s Council Food Program Orientation
- Bring a copy of their license and a voided blank check (for direct deposit)
- Complete program contracts at or after the program orientation
Providers in the food program will:
- Serve nutritious meals and snacks in accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food requirements
- Keep daily records of the foods served and the children in attendance at meals
- Obtain child care enrollment forms signed by parents and guardians
- Comply with all other program requirements as outlined in the standard agreement signed upon enrollment
To join the Food Program, please send us your contact information.
Providers Currently in the Food Program
All child care providers who participate in our Food Program must follow these updated standards to receive CACFP reimbursement. The CACFP meal pattern, which was last updated in 1968, now allows for a wider variety of meat alternatives and calls for whole grains, more fruits and vegetables and lower sugar limits, while also promoting breastfeeding.
These new regulations are a great step forward. At Children’s Council, we are honored to support our child care provider community as they provide the children in their programs with nutritious meals, so they can live healthy and happy lives.
Below is a snapshot of the new regulations.
Developmentally Appropriate Meals:
- Two infant age groups, instead of three: 0- through 5-month-olds and 6- through 11-month-olds
- Solid foods are gradually introduced around 6 months of age, as developmentally appropriate
More Nutritious Meals:
- The combined fruit and vegetable component is now a separate vegetable component and separate fruit component
- Requires a vegetable or fruit, or both, to be served at snack time for infants 6- through 11-months-old
- No longer allows juice or cheese spread to be served
- Allows ready-to-eat cereals at snack time
- At least one serving of grains per day must be whole grain-rich
More Protein Options:
- Meat and meat alternative may be served in place of the entire grains component at breakfast a maximum of three times per week
- Tofu counts as a meat alternative (must be recognizable as tofu)
Lower sugar limits:
- Yogurt must contain no more than 23 grams of sugar per 6 ounces
- Breakfast cereals must contain no more than 6 grams of sugar per dry ounce
Encourage and Support Breastfeeding:
- Providers may receive reimbursement for meals when a breastfeeding mother comes to the child care home and directly breastfeeds her infant
- Only breastmilk and infant formula are served to infants 0- through 5-months-old
If you want to learn more about the new meal pattern, check out the Association for Child Development website, which offers trainings, shopping guides and summaries. Another good resource is from Let’s Move Child Care. Our friends at the Child Care Food Program Roundtable has gathered food program resources from all over the country. Check it out here.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation offers a calculator which helps you easily determine if your yogurt, breakfast cereal, or milk meets the requirements of the CACFP meal pattern.
If you are currently in the Food Program, you can receive immediate assistance from your assigned Health and Nutrition Specialist:
Carmen Chan: 415-343-3303 (Cantonese/English)
Julisa Nunez: 415-355-6286 (Spanish/English)
Kelly Martinez: 415-355-6289 (Spanish/English)
Venus Savea: 415-276-2903 (English)
Documents and Forms – English
The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)
If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or by email.
Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).
Documentos y Formas – Español
Children’s Council’s Food Program is proud to be an affiliate of WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program, administered by the California Department of Public Health/WIC Division. Click here to learn more.